Nearly everyone uses Facebook, but can we all agree that it kind of sucks? For every great story or picture you see on Facebook, you’ll have a dozen low-quality memes, annoying posts, and even frustrating user interface elements.
Let’s put a stop to all that for good. We’ll cover fixes for some of Facebook’s most obnoxious issues so you don’t have to put up with them anymore.
1. Shut Up Excessive Posters
We all know someone like this:
- Your uncle posts too many political rants.
- Your grandpa has no idea how to use Facebook and posts nonsense every day.
- That one friend takes too many pictures of their pet.
- A friend from college copies and pastes a post riddled with grammatical errors to let you know that they really hate cancer.
These scenarios result in a dilemma. You don’t want to unfriend these people and hurt their feelings, but you’re also sick of seeing their posts. The solution is to unfollow them; you won’t see their updates anymore but you remain friends.
To unfollow someone, just visit their profile page. On the right side of their cover photo, you should see a Following box. Click that, and select Unfollow [Name]. Now you won’t have to suffer from that person’s posts. You’ll still be friends, so you can visit their timeline anytime if you want to check out what they’re up to.
Unfollowing someone doesn’t send them a notification, so don’t worry — you’re incognito. Enjoy your clutter-free timeline.
2. Keep Important Friends First
On the opposite end of the spectrum are friends whose posts you don’t want to miss. Facebook’s ever-changing algorithms mean you might not even see certain updates from friends. To combat this, you can specify your closest friends and see their updates at the top of your feed, every time.
Visit the friend’s page whose posts you can’t miss. Click the Following box again, but this time select See First. Now Facebook will always show you those updates right away. Whether you use this for creeping or not is up to you.
When you really can’t miss an update from a certain someone, you can get notifications every time they post. Visit their page, then click the Friends box. You can choose Get Notifications, and Facebook will send you a notification every time that friend posts.
If you like, you can also add that person to the Close Friends group. Doing so will automatically enable notifications when they post, and you can also share posts exclusively with your Close Friends group.
3. Opt Out of Targeted Ads
Facebook makes an unfathomable amount of money from advertising. Thus, it spends a lot of time trying to serve you the most relevant ads in the hopes you’ll interact with them. By default, Facebook tracks you everywhere you go and uses your browsing habits to come up with the best ads for you.
You can opt out of these personalized ads and see more general ones for your age group and gender. To do so, click the small drop-down arrow in the top-right of Facebook’s window and select Settings. Select Ads on the left sidebar, and open the Ad settings category on the resulting page.
Here, you can set the first two options to No and the third to No One. This will stop Facebook ads from using your browsing history to show you ads both on and off Facebook. The Ads with your social actions option prevents Facebook from using your Likes as ads to your friends.
While you’re here, you might wish to tailor the ads you see to your preferences.
4. Stop Sharing Posts With Everyone
Just like you get sick of seeing others’ posts, sometimes you don’t want to share your own updates with some friends. Maybe you don’t want your boss seeing what you were up to on your day off, or don’t need another round of your sister’s commentary on what you have to say. Using a few methods, you can easily hide your posts from certain people.
If you only want to hide a post from someone once, click the audience selector button (it probably says Friends or Public) on the post. Select Friends except… and search for the friends you don’t want to see the post. Click the red Remove button to keep them from seeing the post, then Save Changes to finish.
To add keep someone from seeing your posts all the time, you can add them to your Restricted list. People on this list won’t see anything you post unless it’s set to Public or you tag them in it. Visit someone’s page, select the Friends button, and then click Add to another list… Scroll down and click the Restricted list.
5. Disable Photo Tag Suggestions for Friends
Photo tagging is a fun feature on the surface, but it’s a problem for privacy. If someone takes an embarrassing picture of you and tags you in it, all your friends will be able to see that picture. And there’s always the risk that someone could use a tagged photo to obtain too much personal information on you.
You can’t block photo tags on Facebook, but you can disable suggestions. Visit Settings again, and select Timeline and Tagging from the left sidebar. On the Who sees tag suggestions when photos that look like you are uploaded? option, choose No One.
Friends can still enter your name to tag you in a picture, but Facebook won’t offer suggestions based on its recognition algorithms. Thus, they won’t see these popups:
6. Block Annoying Auto-Playing Videos
Nobody likes videos that play as soon as you scroll past them. They’re loud and can catch you off-guard if you thought you had your volume muted. Plus, if you’re on a metered connection, they’re a waste of data.
To turn off video autoplay, click the top-right arrow anywhere on Facebook and choose Settings. Click the Videos tab on the left, and then set the Auto-Play Videos option to Off.
7. Block Annoying App Invites
Facebook features hundreds of stupid games, all of them designed to waste time and take your money. If you’re sick of friends pleading for extra lives in Candy Crush, you can block all requests by game or by person.
Take another trip to Settings, and pick the Blocking tab this time. Find the Block app invites field and enter any friend who’s invited you one too many times. You’ll automatically block all requests in the future. This won’t affect any other part of your interaction with them on Facebook.
If you’d like, you can also enter an app’s name in the Block apps field. This will prevent it from contacting you and using your Facebook information.
8. Change the Interface to Your Liking
The best one is Social Fixer. It’s available as a browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera. Once you install it, you’ll see a wrench icon in the upper-right corner of every Facebook page. Click that and choose Social Fixer Options to customize the experience, though it makes several improvements out of the box.
Social Fixer offers too many options to cover here, but among the highlights:
- Automatically enable Most Recent view in your News Feed (General tab).
- Use Ctrl + Enter instead of Enter to submit comments (General tab).
- Enable the Friend Manager to get alerts when people unfriend you (General tab).
- Use the Hide Posts tab to hide any updates with certain words.
- Try some pre-made Filters to weed out politics, spoilers, and more.
Dig into the Social Fixer options and you’ll find many more ways to change the most annoying parts of Facebook.
Common Facebook Errors
We conclude with tips for a few common errors people deal with when trying to access Facebook.
9. Forgot Facebook Password
Far and away, forgetting your Facebook login information is one of the biggest issues folks run into. We’ve written a full guide to recovering your Facebook account if you can’t log in. And if you think your account was hacked, you need to act quickly.
10. Can’t Connect to Facebook
Since Facebook is one of the biggest sites on the web, it rarely experiences an outage. Next time you can’t get on Facebook, follow a few steps to diagnose the problem:
— Leslie Salguero (@LeslieSalguero) December 9, 2017
- Check a website like Down for Everyone to see if Facebook is really down. If it is, you can’t do much more than wait.
- Visit another website to make sure your connection is working. If not, follow our steps to fixing internet connection problems.
- Clear your browser cache and cookies, or try to open Facebook in an incognito window or another browser. If this works, something about your current browser is the issue.
- Disable any VPNs or tracker-blocking extensions you have running and try to connect to Facebook directly.
- Reboot your PC and router.
Which Facebook Annoyances Drive You Crazy?
We’ve shared fixes for ten of the most common Facebook aggravations and errors. By flipping the right settings or using powerful extensions, you can make Facebook a more pleasant experience for yourself.
We’re sure you’ve run into more problems in your time with the service. What elements of Facebook are the most obnoxious to you? Share in the comments!